Canadian cleared of 2019-nCoV

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson (center) gives updates on suspected 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) cases Wednesday. With him are Zeaphard Gerhart Caellan (left) of the Provincial Disaster Risk Management Office and Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena. (Dolly Yasa)

By Dolly Yasa and Felipe V. Celino

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Wednesday said the Canadian national admitted to a Bacolod City hospital for suspected 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection has been cleared of the disease.

Lacson revealed the information during the launch of the Kapehan sa Kapitolyo Media Forum at his office together with Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena and Zeaphard Gerhart Caellan of the Provincial Disaster Risk Management Office.

The governor said the Canadian national, who showed flu-like symptoms, was ready to be discharged after test results showed that he was negative for 2019-nCoV.

But two more Persons Under Investigation (PUI) are still confined at Doña Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Hospital (CLMMRH), according to Dr. Grace Tan, spokesperson of the Bacolod City Inter-Agency Task Group on nCoV.

This brings the number of PUIs in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental to four, Tan said.

Lacson said the province will allocate P33.5 million for preparations against nCoV.

In Bacolod City, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the city government allocated P10 million for nCoV preparations.

Tumimbang said the Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital will also be prepared to admit future PUIs.

Tumimbang also said that private hospitals are mandated to take in PUIs and if they refuse, they will be held accountable.

“It is their mandate to take in patients, they cannot refuse,” he said.

Tumimbang also said that the public doesn’t need to wear masks as a perceived preventive measure.

He said it only adds to the scare.

Tumimbang added that if a person has traveled to places with positive nCoV cases in the past 14 days and displayed flu-like symptoms, he or she should be quarantined. But if there is no history of travel, it could just be a simple case of flu.

Tumimbang recommended frequent washing of hands rather than wearing masks.

Lacson said one should buy alcohol and sanitizers instead of masks.



In Roxas City, Capiz, a 43-year-old Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) was the second person under investigation (PUI) for possible coronavirus infection.

The female OFW from one of the municipalities of Capiz is now in good condition and presently under quarantine in a hospital here.

In a statement released by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) Tuesday afternoon, the OFW worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong for 17 years.

She went home on Jan 19, 2020, for vacation then underwent check-up on Jan 31 for cough. On the same day, she became feverish.

The lady again sought medical consultation on Feb 3 where she was considered a PUI and was admitted to the hospital on the same day.

Her specimen was submitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Manila and the results are expected within 48 to 72 hours.

The PHO also clarified that Capiz remains free of the 2019-nCoV amid reports that the first PUI tested positive for the infection.

On the other hand, Capiz Governor Esteban Evan Contreras advised the public to refrain from posting, sending, and sharing unverified information or reports and fake news through short message service (SMS), and social media sites.